Saturday, September 29, 2012

Do I Look Fat In This?

    I have been reading an interesting book about the psychology of the fat/skinny dynamic in women's lives called Fat Is A Feminist Issue (authored by Susie Orbach), that poignantly describes many women's desires to beautiful and judged by their body, how they are scared to actually fulfill this goal and how to overcome these expectations. Her focus is not eradication of fat through diet or making one feel bad about being fat, and neither does she judgmentally put her own notion of what 'fat' is; the women have already decided they feel fat or overeat, (or in some cases are skinny and overeat/binge), then has them assess their true feelings about why they want to be 'skinny' in the first place.
    She helps them pinpoint what sort of fantasy they have about skinniness - which is almost always synonymous with attractiveness - being more outgoing, more successful, etc. while the patients themselves figure out what originally made them form these expectations they prevent themselves from fulfilling. She never suggests for them her analysis, that is just commentary for the reader, or tries to shove in their face a political theory about gender roles (although upon the patient discussing their expectations of 'skinny', the patient comes to that conclusion themselves by their own reasoning). Through discovering the the unfulfilled desires of themselves, their potential, obligations and goals have all come from their complex relationship with their mothers, which of course, manifests within food.
    For readers this may sound metaphoric, though it is symbolic, but our notions of love and family revolve around food, especially the mother, so daughters and mothers have a unique relationship based around food consumption and preparation. Not only does your mother breast feed you, which is your first knowledge and direct experience of love, but the milk itself also has an opiate-like effect on the brain (which all dairy does) that makes you feel close, even euphoric. Upon being fed, with your cries being answered, you find relief and satisfaction. Then, later on in life, it is your mother who makes the family meals, prepares lunch for you, teaches you how to bake, gives you food to feel better. Of course this book was written in the late 70s, so it's possible that your mother wasn't the only one making meals, but considering gender roles, that's beside the point.
    Since these are women in a changing world striving for something more than their mothers (aren't we all), they are really asking for help the only way they have ever been taught how to resolve problems - with food. I recommend anyone with an unbalanced relationship with food to read this, and being an anti-diet book, it's about making you feel comfortable with however you are healthiest. I just want to post some images that I've seen recently on the internet that really make this book a valuable read -

    Maybe you've heard about this "controversy", but Lady Gaga is being critiSIZED for gaining  (according to her) 30 pounds or so. Not only did she come out as formerly being bulimic, but people online are actually asking "Is she fat?". They don't even know! But, the question is, does she deserve the publicity considering her job is being half-naked and objectifying herself? Either way, despite if she's healthy, over-weight, or underweight, the clothes she wears are crazy, and this certainly isn't a flattering outfit.

    This is the Miley Cyrus picture that triggered everyone to start calling her anorexic. So not only if you gain weight a small amount of weight you are fat, but if you actualize the skinny ideal you are anorexic. She's a young girl with the pressures of her Hollywood career, obviously just coming from yoga or the gym or something, and gets railed on. She's thin, but not dangerously so. Wasn't she just sized up last year for gaining weight? Isn't this what everyone wanted?

    This is the picture that popped up under "Miley Cyrus fat", which apparently is a popular search. Really?

    Since Kelly Osbourne has lost her dirty mouth fat girl image, she is now on a style network show where she makes fun of how celebrities dress. Nice. Now that she has her skinny goal reached, she has the authority to call Christina Aguilera fat because she years ago made fun of Kelly. Ironic. By looking at the Christina pictures from her Genie In A Bottle days, she obviously has drastic weight fluctuations, which indicates extreme dieting, which along with having a baby probably destroyed her metabolism. Although, I am not a doctor. True or not, it's wrong and painful to make statements like that and insensitive coming from someone who felt the same criticism.

    This is the hottest celebrity right now, the ideal beauty. From some sources they claim she eats only 600 calories a day, which according to the clinical definition of anorexica nervosa, classifies her as anorexic, if this is true. How many people do you know that think she's hot, or aspire to be her?

    Have you heard of pro-anorexia sites? This is one of the first images under the search "Thinspiration", commonly known to frequenters of these sites as thinspo. This is a women named Felice Fawn, I'm guessing a model of some type which women who have body obsession look up to look like.

    With these images, for disbelievers of pressure and gender roles, I'm sure you can at least conclude women, more so than men, have a dysfunctional relationship with their bodies which would obviously have something to do with food. Without getting into an anarchist perspective, I believe it's obvious what social roles that are enforced by laws and regulations along with media which, is one of the main tools of oppression of capitalism, has everything to do with these disturbing notions of beauty, self, and celebrity. But I just have to ask, does this blog make me look fat?

1 comment:

  1. I heard about this book and was interested but this is the first thorough review I read of its content. I really liked what you did at the end about connecting it to what goes on in recent trends and kind of demonstrating it. I love your writing and as the rest of it this is also excellent, eloquent and awesome! write more! xx